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The Student News Site of Albuquerque Academy

The Advocate

The Student News Site of Albuquerque Academy

The Advocate

The Top 5 Premier League Games Played in January and February

The Top 5 Premier League Games Played in January and February
Wikimedia Commons

This is a January/February update for the Premier League. We will cover the five most notable games from each month. First, here’s a brief update of the top scorers and the standings. As of March 15th, the top scorer is Erling Halland with 18 goals, followed by Ollie Watkins with 16 goals, Mohamed Salah with 15 goals, and Jarred Bowen with 14 goals. The top four standings were the same in both months. Liverpool is in first with 63 points, Manchester City is in second (62), third is Arsenal (58), fourth is Aston Villa (55), fifth is Tottenham (50), and 6th is Manchester United (44).

Top five games in January

Newcastle vs Liverpool

Liverpool started with the ball and they created many chances right away with an offside goal and plenty of other shots. Liverpool’s offense was overwhelming and Newcastle conceded a penalty in the 20th minute. Salah took the penalty, but Martin Dúbravka saved it. Afterward, Newcastle countered and they scored a goal – but it didn’t count because it was offside. Liverpool created a great chance and Salah tapped the ball into the goal in the 49th minute. This was Salah’s 150th goal for Liverpool and he is the 5th person in Liverpool’s history to do this. After Salah’s goal, Newcastle played more aggressively and they created more chances. Alexander Isak scored for Newcastle in the 54th minute. Both teams fought back and forth for 20 minutes, desperate to take the lead until Curtis Jones scored for Liverpool in the 74th minute. Newcastle’s defense got torn apart and Cody Gakpo scored in the 78th minute. Newcastle took a corner kick and Sven Bottman scored a header for Newcastle. Play continued and Diogo Jota made a run to the Newcastle goal. However, he was taken down by the keeper and Liverpool was given a second penalty. Salah redeemed himself when he scored by shooting in the bottom left corner of the goal. This was a great game for Liverpool, and puts the team in a good position as one of their stars, Mohamed Salah, heads off to the African Cup of Nations leaving his team three points clear, on the top of the table. On the other hand, Newcastle has been struggling in the late season. In almost every recent game we have seen them play, their defense lags, particularly in the second half.

Newcastle vs Manchester City

This was a very entertaining game. City started with the ball and they passed it back to Ederson to take advantage of his strong long ball ability. Newcastle got a little too close to the penalty area and a block from Ederson’s punt almost led to a conceded goal, so City decided to do more standard ground passes. Afterwards, City continued their strong offense and Bernardo Silva scored a goal with the back of his heel in the 26th minute. Newcastle made great passes up the field and Alexander Isak scored a great goal in the 35th minute. Later in the game, Antony Gordan made a run to the left side of the field. He ran into the penalty area and scored in the bottom right corner. Newcastle came close to scoring many times, but Alexander Isak was beaten by City’s goalkeeper, Stefan Ortega. City was desperate to score in the second half, and Kevin De Bruyne was substituted for Bernardo Silva in the 70th minute. Nearly four minutes after he came on, De Bruyne leveled the score with an amazing goal into the bottom left corner outside of the penalty area. After the score was even, City still needed one more goal to give them the three points in the standings. Kevin De Bruyne made a pass to wunderkind Oscar Bob in the penalty area, and he scored after dribbling past the keeper. This was a great example of City’s strong counter-attacking ability. The game ended 3-1, City.

Manchester United vs Tottenham Hotspur

In the beginning, United started off with the ball and they immediately found an opening. Marcus Rashford made a run and found himself in the penalty box. Unable to take a shot, he passed it to Rasmus Højlund with the back of his heel and he scored in the 19th minute. The Spurs got the ball back and they immediately countered. They got a corner and the delivery was perfect. Richarlison scored a header to tie the score 1-1. Afterwards, United tried to find openings in the Tottenham defense. They found a pass to Marcus Rashford and he scored in the 40th minute. The first half ended with Manchester United 2, Tottenham 1. Just like in the first half, Tottenham immediately found an opening in the defense. Rodrigo Bentancur ran past the entire defense and tied the score for the Spurs. Both teams scrambled for the winning goal. United’s Scott McTominay made a good attempt with a high header shot, but missed, and the game ended 2-2.

Arsenal vs Liverpool

Arsenal played very well from the beginning. They had a box in their midfield and this proved to be extremely effective both in defense and offense. For example, when they scored in the 14th minute, Martin Ødegaard used the box to pass a through ball to Kai Havertz. Liverpool countered with a few shots on goal but with high press on the opposing players, and they made risky passes up the pitch. Eventually, Luis Diaz scored a scrappy goal off the hand of Gabriel (45+3). The first half ended 1-1. Liverpool started strong in the second half, getting more shots on target. Arsenal got possession back and Gabriel Martenelli was through. Allison rushed to make a block, but he couldn’t stop Martinelli (67). After the goal, Liverpool made a lot of desperate fouls, leading to Ibrahima Konate receiving a red card in the 88th minute. All hope seemed lost for Liverpool, especially when Leandro Trossard scored in the 90(+2) minute. The game ended 3-1.

Tottenham Derby – Tottenham Hotspur vs. Brentford

The Spurs started with the ball in the first half and they made as many productive passes as they could. They controlled most of the possession, but Brentford made the most of their attacks when they had the ball, so Neal Maupay scored in the 15th minute. After the Brentford goal, the Spurs made a series of fierce attacks with plenty of deflections, leading to corners. Their efforts were rewarded as Destiny Udogie found space and scored in the 48th minute. The Brentford defense fell apart and Brennan Johnson scored in the 49th minute. Later in the game, the Brentford defenders continued to give the Spurs way too much space, allowing Richarlison to score in the 56th minute. The Spurs continued to dominate the game, but they made a silly mistake. The ball was passed directly to Ivan Toney and he scored for Brentford. Not all seemed lost for Brentford and they tried their best to score. In fact, the Brentford goalkeeper, Mark Flekken, even came out of his box for the final corner of the game. However, they couldn’t find their equalizer, and the game ended 3-2, with the Spurs winning.

Top five games in February

Newcastle vs Arsenal

Arsenal displayed their offensive power right away in their game against Newcastle. Bukayo Saka delivered a strong corner and Gabriel hit a strong header. It was saved by the keeper, but Sven Bottman made a sliding tackle in an attempt to clear the ball away and the ball rolled into the goal after a series of deflections (18). Arsenal continued to push the ball up the field, and they found openings in the Newcastle defense, which allowed Kai Havertz to score (24). The Newcastle defense made mistake after mistake, and Bukayo Saka scored in the 65th minute. Arsenal is well known for its deadly corners and freekicks, and this game was no different. Newcastle had a short-lived comeback when they scored a goal, but the game ended in a 4-1 win for Arsenal.

Brentford vs Manchester City

City dominated the overall possession and took many shots on goal in both halves. Brentford passed a ball through the defenders and Neal Maupay scored. After Brentford’s goal, City tried even harder to score and they created many opportunities that were very close to goals, but Brentford keeper Mark Flekken made lots of great saves. City found weak spots in the defense and Phil Foden scored in the 45(+3) minute. After half-time, City wanted to take the lead and Kevin De Bruyne crossed the ball to Phil Foden. He scored a beautiful header in the bottom right corner (53). Brentford needed to score and they tried their best, but City got through the defense and Phil Foden scored again (70). The game ended 3-1, City.

Manchester United vs Wolverhampton Wanderers (Wolves)

This game was neck to neck, fast paced, and full of action. Almost immediately, Manchester United got the ball close to the penalty area and Marcus Rashford scored a finesse shot in the 5th minute. Manchester United continued their strong offense and Rasmus Højlund scored from the near post in the 22nd minute. As the first half progressed, United made great passes and created some great chances. The first half ended with Wolves down by two. After the second half started, the Wolves made better passes up the pitch. United conceded a penalty and Pablo Sarabia took it for the Wolves, successfully scoring (71). The game was nowhere near over, though. Manchester United got the ball back, and they countered with immense pressure. Manchester United got a corner kick and Scott MctTominay scored a header (75), but the Wolves didn’t lose hope and they were eager to score. The Wolves took a corner kick and Maximilian Kilman scored (85). Set pieces proved to be very hard to defend on both sides. It’s clear that this game had a lot more to come, and the fourth official gave nine minutes of stoppage time. Both teams gave it their all to score and the Wolves had a great opportunity on a counter from a United corner. Manchester United gave the Wolves way too much room, and Pedro Neto tied the score for the Wolves (90+5). After the equalizer, United drove the ball up the field and young star Coby Mainoo scored his first goal of the Premier League, allowing his team to win. The game ended 4-3. This was a very important win for Manchester United to get more points before the end of the season.

Aston Villa vs Manchester United

United started with the ball. Their offense felt more composed and organized with Rasmus Højlund at the helm. They took many shots on goal, which led to many corners. Højlund scored off of Harry Maguire’s header in the 17th minute. Villa regained possession time and time again and an equalizer seemed inevitable at some point. Villa continued their high press after halftime, and John Mcginn delivered the corner after Douglas Luis scored a series of headers. After Villa’s equalizer, Manchester United wanted to make a statement. And they did just that, when Scott Mctominay scored the winning goal in the 86th minute. The game ended 2-1.

Manchester United vs Fulham

Fulham created many chances in the first half and Alex Iwobi took many shots on goal. United got the ball back and they took their fair share of shots on goal as well. Alejandro Garncho proved to be an amazing playmaker in the first half. The ball went back and forth between both sides of the field, but the first half ended with no goals. The second half started with a strong will to score from Fulham and they played with great pace. Eventually, Fulham created a great chance with a corner kick and Calvin Bassey scored (65). United got the ball back, and Harry Maguire kicked the ball into the back of the net after many great passes (89). United tried the best they could to finish the game, but their defense crumbled and Alex Iwobi scored the winner (90+7). The game ended 2-1.

In conclusion, both January and February were exciting months for the Premier League. In January, the main rivalry was between Arsenal and Liverpool. In February none of the top four teams played each other, but the lower-ranked teams played very entertaining matches with last-minute goals and nail-biting moments. There is a little under two months before the end of the season, which is plenty of time for any team to do something unexpected. We are excited to see what will happen next month in the Premier League!

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